SuperAwesome Artist and Curator Bios

Ako Castuera

 

Ako Castuera

Ako Castuera is constantly busy with projects in mud, paint, and string. Castuera has a great interest in the place stories take up in the mind, and has worked as a writer and storyboard artist on the television show "Adventure Time." She pursues the unseen by creating things that can be seen. The sculptures, paintings, and objects Castuera makes are physical points for trajectories of thought and exploration. She received her BFA from the California College of the Arts and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

 

Sean Chao

Currently living and working in Los Angeles, Sean Chao sculpts and paints worlds filled with curiosity and amusement. His body of work presents odd moments frozen in time, where imagination and personal history intertwine. Chao's pieces are delicately constructed with a gamut of mixed media. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Chao immigrated to the States in 2000. He graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with a BFA in Illustration in 2007.

 

David Choe

David Choe sculpts and paints in oils, acrylics, crayon, and mixed media. Choe's influences flow through comic book culture to gothic art, impressionism, and the surreal. The content of Choe's work is complex and challenges the slick, succinct, populist messages of some of his contemporaries.

 

Luke Chueh

Since arriving in Los Angeles in 2003, Luke Chueh has quickly worked his way up the ranks of the LA art scene. Employing minimal color schemes, simple animal characters, and a seemingly endless list of ill-fated situations, Chueh stylistically balances cute with brute, walking the fine line between comedy and tragedy. Chueh's work has been featured in galleries around the world, and some of his paintings have also been reinterpreted into vinyl toys. Born in Philadelphia, and raised in Fresno, Luke Chueh holds a BS in Art & Design with a concentration in Graphic Design from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

 

Andrew Hem

Andrew Hem's introspective, otherworldly paintings explore realities one step away from waking life. Working in gouache, oil, and acrylic, he weaves atmospheric, richly textured narratives in a vivid palette of twilight blues enlivened by swaths of deep red and splashes of golden light. His haunting impressions of culture and landscape evoke the life of the spirit through the visionary manifestation of memories and dreams. Born during his parents' flight from Cambodia in the wake of the Khmer Rouge genocide, Hem grew up poised in the balance between two cultures—the animistic society of his Khmer ancestors, and the dynamic urban arts of the tough Los Angeles neighborhood where his family eventually came to rest. Fascinated by graffiti at an early age, he honed his skills with graphics and composition on the walls of the city before following a passion for figure drawing to a degree in illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

James Jean

 

James Jean

Using pictorial conventions from such varied sources as Japanese woodblock prints, Northern renaissance paintings and etchings, Chinese scroll paintings, Shanghai advertising posters, comics, anatomical charts, and vintage printed ephemera, James Jean attempts to create a narrative of the subconscious through images, evoking a sense of fantasy and universal mythology. His critically acclaimed illustration and fine art career has led him to create covers for DC Comics, collaborate with Prada, and to exhibit his work worldwide. Born in Taiwan in 1979 and raised in New Jersey, Jean graduated from New York City's School of Visual Arts.

 

kozyndan

kozyndan is a Los Angeles-based team of artist/illustrators known for their digitally painted pencil drawings of contemporary urban cityscapes and surreal interior spaces. Comprised of husband and wife Dan and Kozue Kitchens, kozyndan creates both fine art and commercial projects, and has been showcased internationally to much critical acclaim. The duo met in a painting class in college in the late 1990s. They began collaborating, and the result has been a series of personal works that often reflect their affection—and repulsion—for the rampant urban sprawl and technological overload that characterize everyday city life. Their detailed drawings portray realistic panoramas, which on closer inspection reveal often-absurd scenarios. According to Dan, the pair's work portrays their "unease with and love of the modern world."

Ray Potes of Hamburger Eyes

Ray Potes is one of the men behind Hamburger Eyes, a bi-annually published glossy black and white photo journal with equally as much visual beauty as cultural credibility. Growing up in Honolulu, Potes worked the graveyard shift at Kinko's where he would turn his recreational photography into zines. Hamburger Eyes began in 2001 as a small xeroxed zine in San Diego, later turned into a magazine, and has now evolved into a publisher. With a headquarters fully equipped for producing zines, magazines, and books, Hamburger Eyes is able to produce seemingly hundreds of titles a year. The facility also houses a professional darkroom for printing editions of silver gelatin black and white prints and full color chromegenic prints.

 

Shizu Saldamando

Capturing fleeting social moments during local backyard parties, independent music shows, and other events, Shizu Saldamando's work challenges the dichotomy of good vs. evil, depicting personal moments of reflection and contemplation that resist this categorization. Her mix of materials, including wood, bed sheets, color pencil, washi paper, and ball point pen, reflect the variety in the situations her work depicts. Saldamando has exhibited her drawing, painting, sculpture, and video work internationally. A Los Angeles-based artist who was born and raised in San Francisco's Mission district, she received her BA from UCLA's School of Arts and Architecture and her Master's degree in art from California Institute of the Arts.

 

Masakatsu Sashie

Masakatsu Sashie's intricately detailed oil paintings depict the co-existence of different worlds: often a dominant, detailed orb depicts the oppressiveness of modern industry, in contrast with the surrounding environment. This contrast reflects Sashie's intent of drawing the viewer into the space and having them reflect on society and its values. Sashie resides in and draws inspiration for his work from his home city of Kanazawa, Japan, well known for rich traditional arts and crafts and a unique culture due to its remote location. Sashie has exhibited throughout Asia and the United States and his work is included in private and corporate collections internationally. He received his MFA from the Kanazawa College of Art in 2000.

 

Rob Sato

Based in Los Angeles, Rob Sato produces rich and detailed imagery, which mixes stark horror with quiet beauty and humor. Sato intends for his paintings to inhabit a place between observed and imagined worlds. His work has been exhibited across California. Sato was born and raised in Sacramento and received his BFA from the California College of Arts.

 

Amy Sol

Amy Sol's work is greatly influenced by a combination of manga, folk-art, vintage illustration, and modern design, A self-taught artist, she has dedicated years of her life to mixing pigments and mediums to achieve a unique color palette of subtly muted tones. Sol works intuitively from the beginning to end of each piece, with the intent that each painting's theme or message can be interpreted subjectively. Within these delicate works, you may often find whimsical landscapes populated with exotic plants, animal and women. Among the expressions of each character are notions of peaceful reflection and a sense of companionship. Sol spent her childhood years in Korea and then moved to Las Vegas, where she currently lives and works.

 

Deth P. Sun

Deth P. Sun is a painter and illustrator. His work is well-known for the recurring appearance of a relatable cat character, depicted in a variety of situations ranging from the fantastical to the mundane. While a narrative is suggested, Sun intends for the character to remain open to the viewer's interpretation. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, and he has done illustrations for and contributed to numerous publications and exhibitions. Originally from San Diego, Sun currently resides in Berkeley. He received his BFA in Painting and Drawing from California College of the Arts in 2002.

 

Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine began self-publishing his comic book series Optic Nerve when he was sixteen, and in 1994 Drawn & Quarterly offered to publish the series. His comics have been anthologized in publications such as McSweeney's, Best American Comics, and Best American Nonrequired Reading, and his graphic novel Shortcomings was a New York Times Notable Book of the year. Since 1999, Tomine has been a regular contributor to the New Yorker. Born in 1974 in Sacramento, Tomine now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

 

Guest Curator, Eric Nakamura

Eric Nakamura founded Giant Robot as a photocopied and stapled zine in 1994 and grew the publication until late 2010/early 2011. Giant Robot magazine reached a multiracial audience interested Asian popular culture and became known as the premier magazine in the field. Nakamura built on the success of Giant Robot with stores and galleries in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, and has curated nearly 300 exhibitions. Currently, Nakamura works in and owns the Giant Robot store and GR2 Gallery in Los Angeles,­­ which continue to offer pop culture goods and hold art exhibitions. Nakamura holds a degree in East Asian Studies from UCLA.